The Bruins went into their European trip, which covered Belfast, Prague, Liberec, and an hour in Iceland, with just one thing in mind.



The Bruins announced on Monday that they have signed enforcer Brian McGrattan to a one-year deal. McGrattan, 29, had travelled with the team to Belfast and Prague while on a tryout.

 

The 29-year-old has played in 182 games between the Senators, Coyotes, and Flames. Though known throughout the NHL as one of the league’s most willing fighters, McGrattan’s most impressive statistic was his 551 penalty minutes in 71 AHL games in the 2004-05 season.

 

PRAGUE -- The newcomers made most of the offensive noise, but it was an old face in Tim Thomas who was the story as the Bruins picked up their first win of the season, a 3-0 shutout over the Coyotes at the O2 Arena in Prague.

 

PRAGUE -- A night after the Bruins lost their season-opening game in Prague to the Coyotes, 5-2, Claude Julien said that Tim Thomas would be starting in goal for Boston on Sunday. Tuukka Rask allowed four goals to Phoenix in Saturday's losing effort, though one came from a flukey bounce off the boards and another came on a breakaway caused by a Daniel Paille. Julien indicated that the team's plan was to start Thomas in the second game anyway barring an overwhelming effort from Rask.

 

PRAGUE -- There Zdeno Chara and Peter Chiarelli sat, fielding questions in different languages and smiling through disappointment following the team's 5-2 season-opening loss as they discussed the defenseman's re-signing.



PRAGUE -- The Bruins entered the 2010-11 season as one of the NHL's elite teams on paper. They did everything they could for the first two periods of Saturday's season-opener to suggest otherwise, and the glimpses of promise they did show in the third period proved to be too little, too late. The team showed all sorts of offensive and defensive weaknesses as they dropped the opener in Prague, 5-2, to the Coyotes.

 

PRAGUE -- The Bruins and captain Zdeno Chara have agreed to a contract extension hours before the season-opener against the Coyotes at O2 Arena in Prague. The deal, first reported by the Boston Globe, is for seven years and will begin in the 2011-12 season.

 

PRAGUE -- Patrice Bergeron boasted both a new contract (three years, $15 million) and optimism for the direction of the franchise as both he and general manager Peter Chiarelli adressed reporters in a press conference following Friday's skate. Now 25, Bergeron will play out the last year of his current contract at a $4.75 million cap hit before coming in at $5 million in each of the next three seasons. Bergeron's camp and Chiarelli negotiated the deal throughout the offseason, but the center made clear that he knew the outcome of the negotiations long before the agreement was reached.

PRAGUE -- Having been overseas for just over a week now and with the Bruins' season a day away from beginning, it seemed as good a time as ever to bust out a mailbag (the name of it was not my idea).



PRAGUE -- The Bruins and center Patrice Bergeron have agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $15 million, the team announced late Friday morning. The deal will carry an annual cap hit of $5 million, making him tied with Tim Thomas for the team's highest cap hit in the 2011-12 season (captain Zdeno Chara remains unsigned following the coming season). RDS was the first to report the agreement.